Now a Windows user!

Posted on Tue 01 May 2012 in geek

I've finally buckled and now have a Windows laptop. It was mainly forced on me by the need to have some sort of access to the intranet during the large number of meetings I'm now involved in at work. I have to say the experience has been enlightening, especially seeing all the hacky stuff that has to be done to get things working under Windows. For example by default I couldn't connect to any https (SSL) pages. Luckily I can just hand the laptop back to IT to fix it so I don't have to scratch my head too much.

I've had only sporadic luck getting Emacs up and running on it though. Having been running the tip-of-tree release on my Linux workstation so long going back to Emacs 23 has been a bit of a retrograde step. It doesn't help there are multiple suggestions for installation. I've been trying to get EmacsW32 working but I've run into problems on start-up. So far I've been unable to fix the issue as the paths Emacs references don't seem to show up in the system file browser. This seems to be the only avenue by which I can fix the permissions it's complaining about.

Getting my init file onto the system and in the right place has also proved to be more complex than it should have been (there seems to be two "HOME" directories, one under a Roaming title). The Windows shell has finally gained completion but it's still a shadow of a decent Unix shell. On the positive side I can already run eshell from within Emacs which provides a nice alternative to the command shell. I've yet to get tramp working though but I suspect that's just a case of getting ssh keys sorted out.

If there are better solutions to getting a decent Emacs set-up on Windows I'm all ears.